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Veneers

Reasons to Have One, What to Expect, Associated Risks & More

6 Reasons You Would Need Veneers

1. Tooth Discoloration

Veneers can cover parts of teeth or whole teeth that have been stained or discolored due to factors such as aging, smoking, chewing tobacco, and consuming coffee, soda, wine, and teeth-staining foods. You may need veneers if dental or at-home whitening treatments fail to whiten and improve the color of your teeth.[1]

2. Chipped or Broken Teeth

Veneers can be used to fill in chips and broken parts of one or more teeth. A tooth can become chipped or broken for many reasons including car accidents, falling down, grinding teeth, getting into fights, playing rough contact sports like football and hockey, and biting into hard foods like nuts and candy. [2] Risk factors for chipped teeth include tooth decay, acid reflux, a high-sugar diet, and high intake of acid-producing foods.

3. Tooth Gaps

Veneers can help close and narrow gaps between teeth to make smiles and teeth more aesthetically pleasing. Veneers are often placed over existing teeth to make them wider and reduce the appearance of tooth gaps.[3]

4. Worn Down Teeth

Veneers can repair teeth that have been worn down due to factors such as frequent vomiting, acid reflux, abuse of stimulant drugs, teeth grinding and clenching, and high intake of sugary and acidic foods and drinks. Veneers are thin layers of material that can thicken and enlarge smaller, worn-down teeth.[4]

5. Misshapen Teeth

Veneers can improve the appearance of teeth that are abnormally or irregularly shaped. Teeth can often become misshapen due to certain types of diseases such as cerebral palsy, congenital syphilis, and immune deficiencies that affect the development of teeth such as ectodermal dysplasia.[5]

6. Misaligned or Uneven Teeth

Teeth that are misaligned or uneven due to factors such as crowding of teeth, genetics, and jaw cancer can be treated using veneers that make them look straighter and more aesthetically pleasing.[6] Veneers may be an ideal option for misaligned or uneven teeth when orthodontic devices like braces fail to properly align and straighten teeth.

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Understanding Veneers

Veneers are thin, custom-made shells that fit over teeth to improve the appearance of teeth that are discolored, chipped, broken, misshapen, misaligned, and worn down. Veneers can also fill in gaps between teeth, and help uneven teeth look straighter. These shells can be bonded directly to the front of teeth to change their length, size, color, and shape to help make teeth and smiles more aesthetically pleasing.

Veneers are usually made from porcelain or composite resin materials that resist stains and that closely resemble natural teeth. Dentists who practice cosmetic dentistry will take an impression of your teeth and send the impression to a lab where veneers are created, which can take anywhere between 2 and 4 weeks.[7] Once the veneers are ready the dentist will bond the veneers directly to your teeth using special cement. There is no downtime associated with veneers treatment.

Risks of Veneers

People who get veneers may be at increased risk for tooth sensitivity when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages. Before bonding veneers to teeth, dentists must remove a few layers of enamel so the cement can properly adhere to teeth. This results in nerves being placed closer to the tooth’s surface, and also makes veneers treatment irreversible since enamel is necessary for protecting teeth.[8] Removing veneers can increase the risk for discoloration, heightened sensitivity, tooth decay, fractured teeth, and teeth that are translucent, clear, or rough in some spots.

Veneers can chip and break just like regular teeth and may need to be replaced when these events occur; they are also susceptible to decay and may fall off when eating hard foods like ice and candy, or when biting into objects like nails and pencils. The color of veneers often cannot be altered or changed with whitening treatments and may be slightly different in color compared to the rest of your teeth.

What to Expect with Veneers

Veneers may need to be replaced every 7 to 15 years, but brushing, flossing, and receiving routine professional cleanings may help extend the life of your veneers.[7] Most veneers are stain resistant and can make your smile look brighter as long as you consistently practice good oral hygiene. However, you may want to avoid or limit the intake of foods and beverages that can stain parts of teeth or whole teeth that are not covered by veneers.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor About Veneers

  • How long will my veneers last?
  • How often do I need to replace my veneers?
  • Are there certain foods or drinks I should avoid with veneers?
  • Will my veneers look natural?
  • Can my veneers be made to match the colors of my other teeth?
  • Will my veneers treatment be painful?
  • Am I an ideal candidate for veneers?
  • How long will it take for you to place the veneers on my teeth?
  • How should I care for my veneers?
  • Should I choose porcelain veneers or composite resin veneers?

Veneers May Also be Known as:

  • Porcelain veneers
  • Composite resin veneers
  • Laminate veneers
  • Dental veneers
  • Instant veneers
  • Removable veneers

References

8 Sources

Solv has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.